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Report: "Green Jobs" Could Lead Colorado to Greener Economic Pastures

September 10, 2008

Denver, CO - As unemployment figures reach five-year highs, a new report finds an investment in green jobs could lead to greener economic pastures for Colorado. The report says two million jobs could be created nationally with an initial $100 billion investment in clean, renewable energy, and retrofitting buildings to make them more energy-efficient.

Roger Singer with the Sierra Club in Colorado says it could mean 33,000 new jobs here in the Centennial State over the first two years.

"From electricians to sheet metal workers, steel workers to engineers, even heavy equipment operators and all the associated fields that go along with those professions would benefit."

The report outlines a rapid program of private and public investments that would combine tax credits and loan guarantees for private businesses, along with direct public investment to make a clean energy transition possible.

Critics say the report is overly optimistic and the proposal doesn't do enough to meet the country's growing energy needs.

Singer notes that the report finds investing in renewable energy would create four times as many jobs as investing the same amount in the oil industry.

He believes making buildings more energy efficient would be a "win-win" situation for Colorado.

"If we invest in green buildings across the state and provide good-paying jobs that go along with the rebuilding of Colorado, then we will see a significant pay-off in improvements to our environment and the economy."

Singer says the state has a big head start in creating green jobs.

"Colorado is already proving to be a leader in the nation for investing in clean energy. Now, we need to see this further investment in Colorado and nationwide."

The study was written by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and commissioned by the Center for American Progress. The full report is available online at
www.peri.umass.edu.

Eric Mack/Steve Powers, Public News Service - CO